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Install & Replace

Filling gaps between molding and walls with cement?

I live in a 125 year old rowhouse. I had my living and dining room floors refinished in the fall, which included removing the molding in both rooms. I plan to begin replacing the molding and painting the walls next week. The reason for the gap between the two projects was strictly financial. I wouldn't do it that way again - I nearly froze from the cold air blasting through!


Aside from freezing, my house also become infested with mice. I've had problems in the past, and as long as I stayed on top of it, I eventually got rid of the critters. However, even before removing the molding, the problem was getting worse - old homes just get older, and little cracks/openings become bigger. I've tried everything including stuffing all the cracks with toxic substances and stuffing steel wool on top of that.


My question is this: my neighbor suggested filling all the openings with cement, which sounded like a good solution. However, not being all that knowledgeable about this kind of thing, I wondered if I might be creating more problems than I solve. What do you think

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Posted 2011-03-01T19:51:06+0000  by GREATat58 GREATat58

Greetings GREATat58 and welcome to the community.


I'm sorry to hear about you critter problem.

You are right about the older homes they just get older and older and little cracks and openings just get bigger and bigger

 It’s very hard to deal with this problem once it gets out of the control.

I have maintained before some old frame type apartment buildings here in Chicago and I remember constantly sealing critter holes around the garden units and porch areas.


My recommendation would be to first seal up holes on the outside of the building.


Look for the holes around the foundation, crawlspace vents if you have any and under the doors.

Filling holes with cement wouldn’t create any issues with structure but I can’t see it being effective being that mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a nickel. Also I can see cement being very difficult and messy to use on a vertical surfaces.


Seal large openings with steel lath or hardware cloth. Use a steel wool and caulk for smaller holes and hardware cloth around the bottom plate - foundation perimeter. You can also use expanding foam and steel wool for some medium size openings.


I would also recommend using a lath screen behind the baseboards.


Simply cut the lath screen or hardware cloth in an L shape slightly narrower than the width of the baseboard.

Make sure that the bottom of the L cloth is not sticking out on the bottom of the baseboard once the baseboard it’s installed and staple the same L section down to the floor.


Once the baseboard it’s installed and nailed to the walls cloth should be invisible and firmly attached around the perimeter of the room.


Adding hardware cloth behind the baseboard will push baseboard a little bit out but you can always fill the gaps with paintable caulking.


I’m not an expert when it comes to rodent control I just wanted to share my experience and some of the techniques I have used.


Hope this helps and again welcome to the community.


Posted 2011-03-01T21:05:04+0000  by George_HD_CHI
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